MTV quietly removed Michael Jackson’s name from its Video Vanguard Award
Was it right in doing so?
What the hell should we do with Michael Jackson?
Jackson was, without a doubt, one of the most electrifying performers to ever step foot on a stage. His music is timeless. His videos are some of the most creative ever produced, and his dance moves were out of this world.
He has left such a massive impact on the world of entertainment, that relegating him to the dustbin of history leaves a massive gaping hole in the fabric of pop culture.
However, it's nearly impossible to separate Jackson from the allegations of child molestation that have plagued him for decades. The 2019 HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland" in which Jackson's friends, Wade Robeson and James Safechuck, recall chilling stories of molestation told in graphic detail, make it impossible to view Jackson the same way again.
But what if he is innocent? Then the legacy of an amazing performer who gave away millions in charitable donations has been tarnished all because of speculation, lies, and grifters.
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The allegations put MTV in a real Catch-22. Jackson was one of the starts that helped make TV into a major force in the world of music. So much so that it named the Video Vanguard Award after the performer.
The lifetime achievement award is given to performers who've made a huge impact on the art of music videos. Past winners include Jackson, David Bowie, Madonna, The Beatles, Beastie Boys, and Beyoncé.
"There's a lot of heated discussion at the network about how to handle the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this year, and it's getting ugly," Page Six reported. "There's talk about if they should change the name, or get rid of it altogether. [There's also talk] about who would present it and who would accept it. It's a mess."
Missy Elliott was given the Video Vanguard award at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, but the network only referred to it as the Video Vanguard Award. However, in her speech. However, Elliott referred to it as the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
Momento en el que Missy Elliott recibe su premio y menciona a Michael Jackson.#MichaelJacksonMadeMTV#VMAs pic.twitter.com/CVSGUR8Wwc
— Sebastián Martínez 🌙 (@SebasMjj) August 27, 2019
Some say we should separate the art from the artist. But an artist's work and personal life are inseparable.A performers life — public and private — ads meaning and context to their art.
Further, is it really possible for anyone who's seen "Leaving Neverland" to listen to "Billie Jean" without thinking about the disturbing allegations?
In the end, it's a personal decision everyone has to make for themselves. But, if you're conflicted, as Jackson once sang, "You are not alone."